Girls Night Out 5
Absolute Intense Wrestling
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
Absolute Intense Wrestling has been amping up its women pro wrestling roster and cards, and is establishing one more place for top notch action, valuable experience, big names and an enjoyable product for the fans.
With Pedro Delucca, Aaron Bauer and a number of guest announcers, AIW is also at the top of my list of promotions with notable announce crews. Combining knowledge, entertainment and that rare ability to enhance the action in the ring, the announce crew is a significant part of the product.
And Aaron Bauer should be someone that gets some looks from other places. He’s that good.
It’s a rare quality to be dead-pan funny, all the while playing up the action in the ring, all the while being seriously heelish with an uncanny knack for taking a word, action or wrestling staple and twisting it into hilarity. It’s not easy to compare someone to Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, but Bauer makes me make that comparison.
I will say that I’d prefer if AIW focused on the ladies and not throw in some guy matches, but they do. These three “opening” matches are interesting enough, and labeled as “Guys Night Out 3”
1. The Duke vs. The Chad
The Duke is a big guy with a Frat Boy who’s-way-too-old-for-that-stuff sort of gimmick. He’s a solid, veteran worker in the Northern Ohio area, and is always fun to watch. The Chad is a younger version of the guy now in TNA as Crimson, but a bit thinner and without so much of that charisma that TNA seems to have missed the boat on.
Flexor Industries is the coolest, funniest heel faction on the planet, and its leader, Chest Flexor, is what drives this boat, even if he’s over-the-top and underwhelming physically. But that’s what makes a heel manager work.
2. Façade vs. Louis Lyndon
I really like Façade’s gimmick – dreadlocked graffiti artist, with a strong influence suggesting extreme sports. He’s a high-flyer with a more stout body type, and works well on the indy scene. Here, he’s taking on Louis Lyndon, with whom he used to tag in trios, so it’s a battle of familiarity and between two guys that can fly, there’s a lot of daredevil antics.
Lyndon has aligned with Flexor Industries, and you haven’t heard heel justifications sound this good in a long time, from Flexor sycophant Aaron Bauer.
Match is solid, with more than a few high spots.
3. Rickey Shane Page vs. Eric Ryan
I’ve heard of this match from other AIW DVDs, but still uncertain – even after watching – about why Rickey Shane Page puts over Ryan. Ryan is smaller, with more of a MMA inspired look and approach. Page lost his mask and the Christian Faith moniker last year, and is no more an Abyss knockoff in black and white (although with Abyss playing his brother and not donning the mask and himself morphing, Page is way ahead of the game).
Page can really go, and the two put on a better than your average match. The interplay with Gabby Gilbert and Aaron Bauer did distract from the match, which was entertaining but should it be that distracting?
Girls Night Out 5
1. Mia Yim vs. Marti Belle
Yim is the gal who’s part of the Prince Nana Embassy entourage in ROH. She’s known for her kicks, which gain an enhanced but somewhat troubling reputation later in the card. Marti Belle is as solid part of the WSU roster.
Here, Belle shows a lot more than I expected, and the two put together a hard hitting match, which is soon eclipsed by a big gimmick involving Flexor Industries and “AK 47” Allysin Kay (the whole bunch accompanies Yim). For a while, it was hard to figure who’s the heel, who’s the face, and that only became more muddied afterwards.
There’s a level of violence that felt awkward with the typically over-the-top Flexor, but dominant heel groups should feel that way, and it plays out later.
2. Luscious Latasha vs. KC
There was something hilarious going on with Bauer on the mike here, with the various innuendos and comments on “luscious”. Latasha, being the luscious one, was not so much on the receiving end as much as she was the object of Bauer’s humorous commentary.
KC has a nice look (check her out at http://www.kcspinelli.com) , and Latasha has that WSU look, and while the match wasn’t off the charts, both are gaining good experience on a card with a wide variety of talent.
3. Mary Dobson vs. Miss Heidi
This match stoked up the workrate level. Dobson (yeah, where did that name come from?) is a trainee of Mad Man Pondo, Thankfully she’s not just a garbage wrestler, but she has a strength of presence about her that cannot be denied.
Miss Heidi reminds me of Nikki Roxx, and is very young. This was an enjoyable match.
4. Gabby Gilbert vs. Angeldust
Gilbert showed she can talk, albeit in a fast paced, overly annoying way, but the gimmick does have legs. Gilbert may not have the look that would get her big attention, but she can definitely play the amped up party girl who won’t stop talking.
There’s definitely some avenues to mine with that talent.
Angeldust reminds me of Daizee Haze, but not quite as tenacious (but who could be?) but is a former champion in AIW, and seems to be the lead babyface at this time. Gilbert is definitely getting a push here as the rising heel, and of course is aligned with Flexor Industries. Both ladies can work, that’s for sure.
5. Veda Scott vs. Kimber Lee
This turned out to be a match of great interest. There’s something about Veda Scott that makes AJ seem tame, less charismatic and less compelling. Scott has a great look, impressive talent and a big future. Kimber Lee (CZW’s Princess Palmstrike) should get some of the credit, that’s for sure.
This definitely felt more like a mid-to-top card SHIMMER match, and shows that AIW is interested in establishing a great roster and brining in top names and letting them go in the ring. This was one of those matches where I can’t point out a spot that overwhelmingly impressed, but the match blew away almost anything shown on TV.
6. Allysin Kay vs. Mia Yim
This was more of a WSU type of angle, but that’s not a condemnation. Kay – “AK 47” is now the lead heel for the women’s division of Flexor Industries. Yim was Flexor’s weapon in the last card’s attempt to steal the gold from Mickie Knuckles.
The angle was well set up, but again there was a man on woman violence implication that was awkward. Then, Kay claimed here that Cherry Bomb was not in the building (suggesting that she caused the absence) and she should be declared the Number One Contender.
It is very refreshing to see a promotion care about building contenders!
The AIW head honcho (not Chandler Biggins?) came out and declared that talent can’t just declare themselves top contender, and used the earlier incident to give Mia Yim a chance for revenge.
A little quick, but solidly framed.
Not sure if Yim’s fully to blame, but Allysin Kay ate a kick and we’re told that she broke her nose in three places. The photo of her bleeding is on the DVD package, and the locker room photo is not gruesome, but she’s definitely felt that pain.
Hard to say that this spurred the hard hitting action, or if they just ran with it, but the kicks from Yim, the battling from Kay, and the corkscrew moonsault finish all took this to a level that squeamish mainstream fans are recommended to avoid.
Because watching TV matches after this will be a letdown.
7. AIW Women’s Title: Mickie Knuckles vs Sara Del Rey
This is another well framed match, from the opening footage of Del Rey entering the building, through several backstage interviews with both, and the buildup of the first meeting since Knuckles broke her leg in an IWA/Mid South match a few years back.
Knuckles seems to be on the upswing, and she’s the AIW Women’s Champion.
Del Rey is WWE bound, and while we can complain about how long it took, hopefully we’ll see her battling on TV against Kharma soon. In which case, this is a good preview of what that may look like, if they are allowed to actually wrestle.
(I’m not holding my breath on that, because it would be stellar.)
Del Rey shows once again why she has the reputation (ironically not so different than Bryan Danielson, who was involved with her training) of one of the best in the world. The match had various levels, including a nod to that broken leg, including Del Rey getting on the mike to chastise Knuckles for the way she was wrestling, and then mixing it up and taking it to another level.
Knuckles is definitely someone to watch.
I was also impressed by Rickey Shane Page on commentary. He was pretty good, even though he sounded a lot different than I expected.
With big names, a talented Champion and featuring promising newcomers, AIW has been building up its women wrestling, and this DVD shows that they are well on their way.